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Plasma Sword

video game review video game review Video Game Review: Plasma Sword Publisher: Capcom
Category: Action
Platform: Dreamcast
ESRB Rating: Teen    Release Date: April 2000

Overall Rating: 2 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
2 Stars out of 4

Plasma Sword is the sequel to one of our favorite PlayStation fighters of old, Star Gladiator. Playing this game makes me feel old; Star Gladiator feels like ages ago (1996, to be exact). The original won Best Fighting Game in the 1996 Awards, beating out Street Fighter Alpha 2, Killer Instinct Gold, and two Mortal Kombat games.

The sequel shows that fighting games haven't come very far, but that's not necessarily bad. Fighting games are having the same problems as role playing games; namely, how can traditional ideas be rehashed into more "innovative" new ideas. Basically, the cores of these genres have remained unchanged while the lingo has become fancier. Occasionally, new ideas do surface, but again, the core remains the same.

Plasma Sword's "innovations," according to Capcom, are the Plasma Field Attack, Combo, Strike, Revenge, and Reflect. The only true innovation is the Plasma Field Attacks, which pull an opponent into your advantageous plasma field.

Plasma Combos are no different than any other combos. Plasma Strikes are merely super combos. Plasma Revenge turns the tables on your foe, and Plasma Reflect stuns the enemy while you attack without fear.

The Star Wars similarities are just as apparent as in the original. Hayato represents Luke Skywalker; June could be Leia; Saturn is Yoda; Gamof is definitely an Ewok imitation; Gerelt looks like Lando; and Bilstein has an uncanny resemblance to Darth Vader.

A single game lasts only eight stages, and the easy ending involves an explosion, the result of which is the unknown fate of Bilstein. Obviously, we are meant to believe he is still alive. Better endings are available with increased difficulty.

Plasma Sword succeeds on a nostalgic level. In addition, it packs a decent fighting experience with a slightly different theme than the Street Fighters and Tekkens. A little variety never hurt anyone.

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